The Oscar-winning director will helm a new version of the 1961 original, considered one of the best musicals of all time
One of the world’s most famous film directors is wading into murky territories with rumours that he is set to remake arguably the greatest movie musical of them all, West Side Story. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Steven Spielberg, currently on a press tour for his ill-received version of the classic children’s story The BFG, now has his eyes on a new version of the musical retelling of Romeo & Juliet.
This is not the first time that Spielberg has circled the project, with movie news sites linking him to a remake in 2014, with the two-time Oscar-winning director saying at the time: “Well you know something, West Side Story is one of my favourite Broadway musicals and one of the greatest pieces of musical literature, my goodness, one of the greatest scores and some of the greatest lyrics ever written for a musical, so just let me put it this way... it’s on my mind.”
Now the Hollywood Reporter, an entertainment trade publication, claims that Spielberg has finally secured the rights to the project after 15 years of attempting to do so. Tony Kushner, the Tony Award-winning playwright who has worked with Spielberg on Lincoln and Munich, will reportedly write the script.
The original film version of the Broadway musical was released in 1961, starring Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris. A huge critical and commercial success, the film claimed 10 out of 11 competitive Academy Awards. Jerome Robbins, the film’s choreographer, was also given an honorary Oscar for ‘Brilliant Achievements in the Art of Choreography on Film.”